Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah that we were able to attend the Mawlid Akbar held on 19th Rabi'ul awal 1436 Hijri at Masjid Kapitan Keling in George Town, Penang.
Habib Ali Zainal Abidin delivered quite a fiery message directing towards people who misunderstood the Quran and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad salallahalaihi wasalam.
He began his tausiyah by praising Allah for making it easy for us to be guests at the best of places, the best site on earth - mosques or House of Allah. Mosques have right over us. We have a duty to make it a lively place (imarah) so that Allah would in turn enliven our hearts, our grave, our house, our scale, our heaven. You will live in the hereafter in the same way you do your amal in this life. Those who enliven the House of Allah, they are the faithfuls (people with iman). We are present here in this masjid to give it vigor and to remember the person who taught us to do so.
As related by the Prophet salallah alaihi wasalam, there are people who will be resurrected on minbar (pulpit) made of gems. Their face would be bright. Even the prophets would feel envious towards them for the great gift bestowed upon them. On hearing this, a Badwi asked the Prophet, "Show me their attributes" so he replied, "They come from different countries and they sit to remember me. They are awliya Allah. They are close to Allah. Neither do they fear nor grieve."
We come from various countries/places, we are of a different family/tribe, we sit together to make zikir and to remember Prophet Muhammad salallah alaihi wasalam. May Allah resurrect us in the Hereafter on minbar made of gems. [Ameen].
That would be a great gift from Allah. Yet the greatest gift from Allah to mankind is in fact Prophet Muhammad himself. We should be grateful for this great gift. We know from a hadith that if we were to be grateful for Allah's bounties, He would give us more. We are present at this majlis to express our thankfulness for the gift of Prophet Muhammad. The Quran says we should remember the blessings of Allah especially the blessings of Prophet Muhammad salallah alaihi wasalam. The Quran also say we should hold on to the rope of Allah. The rope of Allah is the Quran, Islam and Prophet Muhammad. We are told to stay united and remember His blessings.
People were disunited, then they became friends. The Ansar and Muhajirin reconciled and became friendly to each other. They became united because of Prophet Muhammad who brought them closer. And they were raised on account of their sincere beliefs. Stories of the sahabah and their noble characters were also mentioned in Taurat and Injil.
We have become elevated and honorable because of Prophet Muhammad. Our obligatory prayers got reduced because of Prophet Muhammad. We are not like the ummah of other Prophets who live very long, our lives are shorter than theirs yet we get to receive bigger rewards. There are many privileges Allah gives to us, all because of Prophet Muhammad. We must do our best to emulate the good behaviors as set by the Prophet and his companions so that it is not mere rhetoric and claims.
Be cognizant of the two kinds of behaviors (sifat) namely mu'amalah (dealings) with people and mu'amalah with Allah. As for the former, we are to be strict with the disbelievers and be kind towards the faithful believers. Mu'amalah with Allah involves making sajada and rukuk. Give priority to the former, that is mu'amalah with people over that with Allah because that is mentioned first. Interaction/dealings with people is verily dealings with Allah. Religion teaches us how to deal with people. Allah asks us to be strict with the disbelievers. Did Allah ask us to kill them? Allah does not prohibit us from dealing with people who neither bother us nor chase us away. Allah does not prohibit us from engaging in mu'amalah with the kuffar. We are not supposed to make them our enemies, be hostile towards them or commit a crime against them. The Prophet himself showed us an example of how to deal with disbelievers when his sword got stolen and was used to threaten him. The thief asked: 'Who would protect you now?' The Prophet did not waver. He replied: "Allah!". He replied with utter confidence and shocked the man so much that the sword fell to the ground. When Rasulallah reclaimed his sword, he did not kill the man even though he was in a position to do so. But some people chose to interpret the verse of the Quran according to their own narrow perspective and ideology. So we know as shown by the Prophet, how to be strict with the disbelievers.
Secondly, in regard to mu'amalah with the believers, we are told to be gentle and kind even if we have differences and misunderstandings. The cordial relationship among Muslims get spoiled when people curse and ridicule others for their backgrounds and beliefs. We should not look down on other people because it's possible that they are better than us. We are supposed to show compassion towards one another. As stated in the hadith of mercy (Hadith Ar-Rahmah) if we are compassionate towards people, Allah will be merciful on us. [The merciful are shown mercy by the All-Merciful. Have mercy to those on earth and the Lord of the Heavens will have mercy upon you.]
Once, Abu Dar tried to pick a fight with Bilal, saying: "O son of a black man'. On hearing this, the Prophet turned at him with an angry face and reprimanded Abu Dar: "Drop those foul-smelling words!" That is an action of the Jahiliyah. Making such a remark 'son of a black man' incurred the anger of Prophet Muhammad. Compare that with accusations made to pious people, calling them fasiq, syirik and misguided?
Thirdly, with regard to mu'amalah with Allah, we are ordered to make sujud and rukuk - that we abide by our duties in public and in private.
Concluding his tausiyah, Habib Ali prayed so that Allah would grant the audience with a firm understanding of the religion, that Allah would elevate our status, that Allah would increase our understanding of secret knowledge, that we will continue to attend majlis and put to practice what we learn and practise sunnah.
Allahu a'lam. May I be forgiven for any errors and omissions.
p/s Next posting is on Habib Hassan's tausiyah. InshaAllah.